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Flies, flies, flies :(

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by KezyGLA, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoprince Active Member

    So I have another small infestation of flies. This time I believe phorid flies. I knew I would encounter this problem at some point. :(

    The last time I had an issue with flies it was fungus flies and they were pretty managable. But this time it has all happened so fast.

    I put a roach in with a gravid murinus yesterday morning. I went to remove the partially munhed carcass just now and there was lots of flies in her tub. I have watered a fair few more specimens too and there was some more in them.

    I have set up sugar water traps and vinegar traps with sticky strips nearby.

    The problem I have is that I keep so many Ts in that room. It is a horrendously huge and lengthy task to swap out sub and scrub everything.

    My question to you nice people of the boards..
    Is there a way to completely rid the flies without dumping sub and rehousing??
  2. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member


    24. Using IGR’s (Insect Growth Regulators):

    IGR is an abbreviation used for insect growth regulator. Insect growth regulators are one of the best biological methods to end a fly infestation.

    IGR’s are chemically manufactured hormones that interfere with the normal lifecycle of an insect. When an insect grows, it undergoes a process called molting. During this process the insect grows a new exoskeleton under its existing one, then sheds the existing exoskeleton to grow further.

    IGR’s prevent the insects from reaching maturity by interfering with the molting process. This ceases the further growth of the insect and because of this insect never reaches the adult phase. And hence is unable to reproduce.

    IGR’s are mostly beneficial against drain flies, fruit flies, fungus gnats and eye gnats.

    This was the best I could come up with buddy, I hope it an do the trick, good luck, there's nothing worse than bloody fly infestations.
  3. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoprince Active Member

    Do IGRs not contain pesticides? I obviously can't use anything with chemicals.
  4. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    Sorry dude, I just noticed it interferes with molting etc, so I don't think it's suitable, you can have a look on the same sight, see if they've got anything else more appropriate for spiders.
  5. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    I remember a long time ago, I had an infestation, I ordered some kind of treatment, it actually worked really well, it was able to kill the insects/bugs, I really can't remember what the infestation was but it worked from killing the infestation from the inside out, oh god I wish I could remember what it was called, aarrggghhh!
  6. Troopermk2

    Troopermk2 Arachnopeon Active Member

    I dont think so mate, the flies larva thrive on moist organic substances so just about any enclosure with sub could be infected with the larvae.

    How are they getting into the enclosures?

    We have problems with flies during the summer just from where we are, in every room we have small insect lights by the windows and doors, really minimalizes the problem
  7. Troopermk2

    Troopermk2 Arachnopeon Active Member

    Just realized that you are the keeper from Glasgow everyone talks about and you might have more than "a few" enclosures lol, ill leave this one to the experts
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  8. boina

    boina Arachnobaron Active Member

    Short and sad answer: No. And even if you do they'll likely come back because they live everywhere. I think fly traps are actually your best bet.

    Good news: from all I know about their biology I'd think they are completely harmless for tarantulas, no matter what some books/people say.
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  9. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    Pyrethrum spray, that's what I used when I had an infestation in my LP's enclosure, I removed the spider, then sprayed the whole enclosure, then about a half hour later I returned the spider to the enclosure, and that was that. No ill effects to the spider, and it lived on until I gave up the hobby about 3-4 years later, so it's really up to you my man, I would check out the ingredients etc. just to be on the safe side, of course, I wouldn't expect anything else from you. Good luck mate.
  10. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnoengineer Arachnosupporter

    I've been dealing with flies on and off for years. Plenty of trial and error have finally led me to a solution.

    First, the liquid. Bring about 1/2 cup of water to a boil, and then add plenty of sugar. I don't measure it, but probably close to 1/4 cup. Of course get it to dissolve completely. While it's still hot, add in a tablespoon of honey and let that dissolve. Feel free to make this in bulk, it keeps in the fridge for months. When the time comes to use it, add in a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar - note that you should not use the more expensive organic stuff. Oddly enough, they seem to prefer the cheap variety. Then put in just a couple drops of dishwashing soap. Too much will actually deter flies, so be sparing with it. To reiterate: add the vinegar and soap just before you're about to use it.

    Second, the container. This is just as important as the liquid, if not more. Make something similar to this trap. It's pretty easy to make. Get a typical mason jar, drill four large holes (~1/2") forming a square in the lid, then drill another much smaller hole in the middle. Put a screw and bolt through the middle hole, resulting in basically a flag pole sticking out of your mason jar. The get something to mimic the white roof that you see in the link I posted. Personally, I just use a piece of paper that I made into a cone and stapled. This white roof is imperative, but I couldn't tell you why. If you want to make life easier on yourself, just buy the trap... but do not use it! The smell that their bait emits is just rancid.

    And that's it. You'll start catching them almost immediately. Remember that vinegar evaporates, meaning that it will lose efficiency as times goes on. I have to replace my liquid once every month or so. As @boina brought up, you'll never get rid of them 100%. But even a single trap will make it difficult for you to find a fly again.
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  11. VanessaS

    VanessaS Arachnobaron Active Member

    I have had a bit of an issue, but not one that I would consider an infestation. It doesn't take much during the warm, humid months in Canada - just one overlooked dead prey item and you could end up with them. I find them most often in with the crickets.
    I took four old spiderling vials, put a dead super worm in the bottom of each with a bit of water, and put plastic wrap over the top and secured it with an elastic band. I then poked a couple of holes in the plastic with a thumb tack. I placed one vial at the back of each of my shelving units. I did catch some flies inside - what kind they were I don't know. Small things, like fruit flies. They were more than likely phorid flies, but I didn't take a look at their eyes. Fruit flies have red eyes and phorid flies have black. They were too small and I was just too eager to get rid of them. I would take the vials out on my balcony and open them up.
    Once the drier weather came around - they were gone.
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  12. spotropaicsav

    spotropaicsav Arachnobaron Active Member

    When I have had flies appear on and off, usually the dry weather where I am takes care of them, so I can wait them out. Maybe not an option in a collection as expansive as yours, boo:(hoping for the best, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
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  13. mconnachan

    mconnachan Arachnoprince Active Member

    You mean buy the trap, but don't use the bait that is supplied with it, and use the liquid that you have described, very helpful my man, I'll have to bookmark that page for myself for future reference. That's a lifesaver, well actually a flykiller, but for Kezy that would be extremely useful, thanks @EulersK
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  14. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoprince Active Member

    Thanks again for another helpful and informative reply. I meant to tag you because I remember speaking of our fly issues before ahah. I will give the trap you mentioned a go. I have a couple different traps in there at the moment that have caught a fair few since yesterday.

    I also went through every single enclosure and dug about to find bolus. Turns out my Chilos were stashing some rancid goods. I removed and hope that helps.

    This rings true here. As well as before when I got the fungus flies. Scottish summers are extremely wet. I suspect this aids the breeding of these pests.

    Thankyou. I am hoping to have eradicated most by Autumn :borg:
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  15. elportoed

    elportoed Arachnobaron Active Member

    Keep the substrate dry and clean up bolus. Then make a trap, use a small deli cup, poke small holes, slightly larger than the flies, so they can pass through. Fill the cup with apple cider vinegar about half way, close the lid, and place the trap close by the cage area. You should get rid of them pretty quickly.
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  16. creepa

    creepa Arachnoknight

    I had them last year in the spring/summer time but this year they are gone...

    Do you feed your spiders with crickets that you buy or do you breed your own feeders??
    All of cricket farms are infested with phorid flies and they bring them to your home if you feed store bought feeders...

    And as far as i know springtails and tropical isopods feed on the eggs of phorid flies. I have a good population of both springtails and isopods in all my enclosures so my best guess is that they are keeping the phorids away now...
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  17. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Arachnoprince Active Member

    I keep colony of dubia but on occasion I feed crickets to my picky Ts. I refuse to keep colony for crickets aha.
    I recently got large tub of crix so maybe they came in with that. There are springtails in almost all enclosures so hopefully these are only temporary problem like the fungus gnats were.
  18. Trenor

    Trenor Arachnoprince Active Member

    This is similar to what we use here for bugs and flies.

    For the trap we use two kinds made from 2-liter soda bottles. The funnel trap (good for inside where there isn't as many insects) is where you cut the top off and flip it as seen in this link. The second trap (good for outside cause it wont fill with rain water) you leave the bottle whole and cut three U shaped slots around the sides (can't find a quick photo but can add one once I get home if needed). You then bend the tabs up to make a roof (as you noted the roof helps some as it helps concentrate the attractant smell. These should be small so it's not easy for the bugs to find their way out. They can easily find their way in but once in the jug they can't get back out. Eventually, the will die and fall into the solution.

    I always mix the solution up right before use. We use a solution of 1 part of of each - water, vinegar (plain old while kind), plain white sugar (if you're trying to get rid of misquotes then add 2 tsp bread yeast). So that would be like 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup sugar for single jug trap. The bread yeast will produce carbon dioxide which attracts misquotes. Since we use these outside and we are honey bee friendly around here, we add one crushed banana peel in which prevents the bees from going in because it smells like their danger scent.

    Outside we change these every week or two as they fill. We just tape up the tabs and drop them in the trash. Then make a new one. If it's not full and you want to add fresh solution (outside it'll lose it's effectiveness quicker than inside) also add another banana peel to it to keep the honey bees away.

    Inside you just sniff it and replace it as the vinegar scent drops off.

    Good luck with the flies. They can be a pain.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
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